Monday, October 31, 2016

Angel of the North

We leave tomorrow for yet another trip to the north of the UK for medical help. Getting there involves two flights to cover the 450 miles or so. The stop-over means a journey time of around three to four hours if there are no delays. I will be admitted onto the liver transplant ward at the Freeman Hospital for a liver biopsy to be taken on Thursday morning. This is one of the most prestigious units in the country for anything to do with the liver, pancreas etc. At the top of the nearby old main road to the area stands the Angel of the North statue, a contemporary sculpture, designed by Antony Gormley.

Completed in 1998, it's a steel sculpture 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with wings measuring 54 metres (177 ft) across. The wings do not stand straight sideways, but are angled 3.5 degrees forward; Gormley did this to create "a sense of embrace".

As I continue along the road that will lead, hopefully, to a new start for me, I am not particularly impressed with modern art, but I am distinctly aware of a sense of embrace. Firstly, Diane will be with me. The BBC have been doing some research recently into what constitutes beauty.  Well they can stop right there, because I am embraced by one of the most loyal, kind, selfless and caring of people I know, whose smile can light up a whole hospital ward! Then we are supported by the prayers of so many. Yet the greatest reassurance comes from that which is described by the hymn writer as "the love that will not let me go".  Now that is some embrace.

Friday, October 28, 2016

News has just reached us of the passing into heaven of a dear friend and fervent evangelist, Peter Jackson. Peter was in our home not many months ago when he made one of his frequent visits to Guernsey. Peter was totally blind from infancy but his gift at playing the piano was superb and deeply moving. Listen to Peter's dynamic playing behind the spoken intro to a DVD of his life and ministry, and then the very thrilling crescendo - speaking of heaven the lyrics ask "Is this the crowning day?" Well, for Peter it is, and may his amazing life's story move each of us to be ready likewise for our own call into eternity. I have been able to order this DVD from Christian Faith Ministries at

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Simply the Best

I was sipping tea, still in bed, waiting for the 8am news to come on my local radio station. Out of my tiny radio came the glorious chant of Tina Turner singing "Simply the Best". Wow, I always love the refrain of that song, if not all the lyrics. Then came the news and within seconds I was in despair for the world in which we live. One of the presidential candidates hoping to be elected to become 'the leader of the free world' as some describe the office, Donald Trump, has exceeded all the dismal things he is alleged to have done. I listened to a scandalous and disgraceful recording, which he has now said was a true record of what he felt about women in 2005 and for which he has apologised. The other candidate, of course, Hilary Clinton, will be delighted with this piece of dirt-digging by her team and is crowing her horror, whist overlooking claims that allege that she should be in jail and not on the presidential trail for her past wrongdoings.

This came on top of another story which reported that two leaders of a growing and well-supported political party in the UK were reduced to a bout of physically slugging it out at the European parliament. This unseemly joust ended with one of the MEP's in hospital - the one offering himself as leader of the party!  Is there anybody worthy of being followed any more? Are the two US presidential candidates 'simply the best' available in the USA? Does UKIP have a future in government if its leaders behave this way?

I mentioned the lyrics in Tina Turner's famous song, as some fail to charm me, but I am very taken with these lines "You're simply the best, better than all the rest, better than anyone, anyone I ever met.' For me, these words speak of Jesus Christ, the one I follow without fear of being disillusioned. There was not one ounce of corruption in him that his enemies could point out, however deeply they dug. The record of his life, penned by a man who watched him closely for at least 3 years night and day, was that he - Jesus - was without sin (1 Peter 2:22).

Now that's simply the best and he gets my vote! But we need to pray for America and Europe in their leadership famine, and ask God to raise up leaders worthy of respect.